We’ve all had the worry that some day, at some point, we will see a withdrawal from our account that we weren’t exactly privy to. You know, when some shyster manages to infiltrate your account and goes on something of a spending spree?
Of course we all hope that when we alert the bank to the fraudulent activity they will refund the stolen money, but it seems that Standard Bank aren’t all that willing to uphold their end of the bargain. A Cape Town journalist, Yazeed Kamaldien, endured a three month battle with Standard Bank when he had his bank card cloned and R14 937.52 was taken from his account.
Standard Bank did offer to refund him, but only to the tune of 50% of the amount that he lost due to the fraud. When the news broke many others came forward with similar stories, Bashir Mukuddem’s tale below taken from IOL:
He said R37 000 was fraudulently withdrawn from his Standard Bank cheque account on July 29 at about 1pm.
Mukuddem said he reported the matter immediately to the Grassy Park branch manager who accompanied him to the Grassy Park police station where a case of cyber fraud was lodged. A case was also filed with Standard Bank’s fraud department.
“Thus far, an amount of R14 866.03 has been recovered by the fraud branch and the bank refuses to pay back the balance of R22 133.97, which has been stolen from my account. A bank is supposed to be a safe place for people’s savings,” he said.
Mukuddem said all he received from the bank since then was a message that he would not be paid.
In response to the above a Standard Bank spokesman, Ross Linstrom, said the bank had satisfied the queries related to Mukudemm’s account:
“Mr Mukuddem was satisfied with this feedback. Each of these cases is treated seriously and the details thoroughly investigated. In this matter, whilst we have managed to secure some of the victim’s funds, we are still in the process of investigating and finalising the matter. As such, no final decision has been made with regard to the outstanding loss thus far.”
Linstrom said the bank’s final outcome would be communicated directly with Mukuddem followed by written communication.
Standard Bank is not alone in coming under fire, ABSA having their own set of problems:
Helene Kesler, a former Capetonian now living in Joburg, said she lost R5 000 when separate amounts of R2 000 and R3 000 were withdrawn from her Absa account in July last year…
Kesler contacted the bank’s stop card division and spoke to a consultant who immediately placed “a stop” on her card. Kesler also used the opportunity to log a case with the bank.
However, more than a week later, she received an SMS from Absa, saying the money would not be refunded.
“I am most upset with this resolution. In fact, if you go through my account history (more than 25 years), you will not find a single transaction done by me on our Sabbath day,” she wrote to the bank.
Absa responded: “Although we sympathise with your loss, the bank cannot be held liable for any financial loss that you may have incurred as the disputed withdrawals were affected with your card and secret PIN number. The bank is prepared to refund you an amount of R1 250 as a goodwill gesture and not an admission of any liability.”
Another client, known only as Johan, has had a torrid time trying to reclaim an amount of R60 300 that disappeared in June:
Johan said he had done everything he was told to do, such as drawing a bank statement and opening a case at the police station, and was assured more than once that he would get his money back although “it would take a while”.
However, more than a month later he received an e-mail from Absa, saying his money would not be recovered.
“At this stage the matter is with the Ombudsman. We were very upset with the outcome and service as I had to drag information from Absa. My money is not safe there. I reported the fraud within an hour and had to wait months for a response.”
As is clear from the above the claims in question may still be settled and the bank’s investigations are still ongoing. What is also clear is that perhaps we shouldn’t be so confident that our banks can be trusted to keep our money safe and sound. If the process of being refunded after security breaches occur is something of a lottery what are we supposed to do to keep our funds safe?
Should we return to the days of yore when money was stashed under mattresses or hidden in sock drawers in order to be safe from growing legs and wandering off? Banks may lose awfully large amounts of money to cybercrime (some experts say our local banks lost around R453.9 million last year through card fraud) but that isn’t a cost the consumer should have to bear.
[imagesource:here] A gang of 10 carrying guns broke the windows of a jewellery shop at ...
[imagesource: Dental Care] Now that wearing a face mask in public indoor spaces is no l...
[imagesource: Dave Hurwitz] Researchers have spent years documenting the gradual disapp...
It’s the end of term and school is out! It’s time for a well-earned break, but how ...
[imagesource:here] Before we check out this samurai-inspired superyacht, who is Larry E...